Phillips, Burnes named Brewers Prospects of the Year

Phillips, Burnes named Brewers Prospects of the Year

MILWAUKEE -- A bounceback season in the Minor Leagues not only earned Brett Phillips a ticket to the bigs, it netted him's Brewers Minor League Player of the year award.

Phillips won the honor alongside the easy choice for Brewers Minor League pitcher of the year, Corbin Burnes.

Brewers Prospects of the Year
2017 Brett Phillips Corbin Burnes
2016 Isan Diaz Brandon Woodruff
2015 Orlando Arcia Jorge Lopez
Year Hitter Pitcher

Each team's Hitting and Pitching Prospects of the Year were chosen by the staff. To receive consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors, appeared on the team's Top 30 Prospects list and played the entire year in the organization.

"[Phillips] has had a great year, a great season. He had a big season at Triple-A," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He had a little bit of a down season [in 2016]. We thought it was a little bit better than it looked and he's played well this season."

So well that Phillips' play at Triple-A Colorado Springs propelled him to the Majors, where he finished the season as the Brewers' starting center fielder. Before that, he hit .305/.377/.567 in 105 games for the SkySox, with 19 home runs and 78 RBIs.

His slugging percentage was tops among Brewers Minor Leaguers with at least 200 plate appearances.

"With his personality and his skill set, I knew he was going to be great," said top-rated Brewers prospect Lewis Brinson, who edged Phillips for the Brewers' own version of their Minor League player of the year honor. "I told him I miss him, I wish I was here with him. But he's doing awesome up here, contributing every way he can. Obviously, with his cannon. I think everybody finally sees that he has one of the, if not the, best arms in the big leagues right now, in my opinion. He's doing his thing and I'm not surprised at all."

Statcast: Phillips' 104-mph toss

The two have a chance to share time in center field for the Brewers next season. Phillips is a left-hander and Brinson hits right-handed.

Burnes, meanwhile, will probably begin 2018 at Colorado Springs after charging through the advanced Class A and Double-A levels in his first full professional season. The 22-year-old, drafted in the fourth round in 2016, went 8-3 with a 1.67 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 26 starts between Class-A Carolina and Double-A Biloxi.

Burnes talks season, Brewers

Burnes' ERA ranked third among qualifying pitchers at all levels of Minor League Baseball.

"The goal is always to continue to move up," he said last week in Milwaukee. "I don't know what plan the Brewers have for me yet, but I would like to continue to move up, of course, because the ultimate goal is the big leagues. I would like to get a shot next year. The only thing I can do is control what I can this offseason, and that's working hard to keep getting better."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.